Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 2/24/14

I think spring is just around the corner! This past week, we’ve had temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s (about 10 degrees above average, but I’ll take it). Although we’re supposed to have two or three nights the end of this week dipping below freezing for a couple hours, I think we’ve seen the worst of the winter now. My tulips are blooming, and yesterday I noticed the clover is starting to bloom along with the henbit and chickweed. The bees are sure to come soon. My winter garden is actually growing (what survived the cold as well as two ice storms), and I’m actually seeing new seedlings coming up.

WHAT’S NEW:

I was just beginning to wonder if my green asparagus was ever going to come up. It’s my third year, and I can harvest galore; so I can’t wait. A couple days ago, I saw the first two spears poking through the soil.

First green asparagus of the season

First green asparagus of the season

My first potato came up this past weekend – one of the red potatoes.

Red potato sprouting

Red potato sprouting

I had given up hope on my Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, but this weekend I found three seedlings up – after planting the seed the first week of January! Crazy, huh?

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seedling

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seedling

GROWING IN THE GARDEN:

I am very impressed with how my little plants are doing. After having very cold weather and two ice storms, I thought I wouldn’t have any crop at all. But these babies are tough! They’ve been very slow to grow because the cold put them into “suspended animation.” However. now that it’s getting warmer, I’m betting these little guys actually grow enough to give me a harvest before the spring planting. (Well, maybe not the carrots – but I may let them grow around the tomatoes I transplant in that bed.)

Purple top turnip

Purple top turnip

Scarlet Nantes carrot seedling

Scarlet Nantes carrot seedling

Early Wonder beet seedling

Early Wonder beet seedling

Easter Egg radishes

Easter Egg radishes

Tom Thumb lettuce

Tom Thumb lettuce

Red Sails lettuce

Red Sails lettuce

PLANTING AND SEEDLINGS:

Yesterday, I planted over 200 onion bulbs – red, white, and yellow onions.

Onion bulbs ~ ready to plant

Onion bulbs ~ ready to plant

I also planted about 120 of my onion seedlings that I started in my grow room ~ Texas Granex white and Red Creole. I’m not sure if they’ll get to mature before it gets too hot for them, but it’s worth a try. (If not, I’ll start seedlings in late summer for planting in October when it’s onion seed planting time.) The seedlings hadn’t bulbed yet, but they had a good root system on them.

Texas Granex onion seedling root

Texas Granex onion seedling root

As for my seeds in my grow room, the seeds never sprouted (other than that one watermelon seed). I waited two weeks. Nothing. 😦 Thankfully, I figured out why. (Click here to find out why – so you won’t make the same mistakes!) I replanted everything this past weekend and hope to have germination by next week’s update article. I was a little depressed about the two week delay, but my Garden Wilson made a very valid point: Our growing season is so long here, what’s another two weeks? Then again, that’s two more weeks of waiting for that first ripe tomato!

Have you started your spring seedlings yet?

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